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Friday, October 06, 2017


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Dear Simon,

I have followed your blog for a couple months, and it is really useful and help me a lot.

However, recently I met a question, and I am really struggle with it. I have no idea how to build this type of question in you four paragraph strategy.

could you please give me some hint?

Here is the question:
Some people prefer to live in a house, while others feel that there are more advantages to living in an apartment. Are there more advantages than disadvantages of living in a house compared with living in an apartment?

@ Wang


Thus: "... more advantages than disadvantages to living in a house compared to living in an apartment."

I wonder whether this is a real IELTS question, or culled from some dreadful guide.

There really is some excellent advice on how to formulate your answers on this site. All you have to do is click on "IELTS Writing Task 2" in the left sidebar.

In British English, "flat" is often used as a noun to mean "apartment" - which often suggests something more upmarket.





hi I know this website is useful.I learn everything about IELTS form this blog, but i have no idea why you post those graph website

about your question yes this is a real question from CAMBRIDGE 7 GENERAL TRAINING A

hoping someone can give me some advice


See comment by Milad (and examiner) here:


@ Oleg70

WOW!!! thank you for you help, I finally can make sure whether i should mention my own opinion or not. There are so many sample of the essay topic on other websites, and some with writer's opinion, some without. however they all claim their essay have band 8~8.5, which was the reason why i am so confused.

best of luck with you

all the best

Don't you think the sample answer is too long to speak in 2 minutes?

I did the Tissington trail a couple of years ago on a tandem with my wife! Nice example.

Hi Simon,
I have some questions about this sample answer.
1. They wanted my wife and "I" to take them somewhere ......
Why not using "me"?
2.colourful wild flowers
Can we say wild colorful flowers?
3.when we CYCLED through a historic railway tunnel ON OUR BICYCLES.
Is it repetitive for the meaning, since "cycle" already points out riding on a bike?
4. the soundS transport you back in time...
Is "sound" countable? using plural?


This answer is unreasonably long and unexpected. How come we in 2 minutes come up with such story in-depth?

Good questions Felicia.

1. Well noticed! It should be 'me'. I've changed it.

2. 'wild flowers' is the noun phrase, and 'colourful' is the adjective describing those wild flowers. It sounds funny the other way around.

3. Yes, it's repetitive, but this is typical of normal speech.

4. Yes, 'sound' can be countable. e.g. I heard many sounds.



The aim is to give you an 'ideal' sample answer that you can learn from. I doubt my answer would be as good if you put me in an exam situation, but I think you can learn more from a good model answer.

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